Thursday, December 24, 2009


Follow senior students Aleksandra Makowska and Simit Christian as they journey to Argentina to prepare for their voyage to the Antarctic. Aleksandra and Simit were selected to represent Staten Island along with scholarship students selected from the other boroughs as well as students from other countries. Accompanying them will be scientists from the Students on Ice Expedition they explore and learn about this region of the world,learn how environmental change is adversely affecting it, and gain a new respect for our precious environment. We are most grateful to Senator Charles Schumer,, a long time supporter of public education, for recognizing how the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies mission aligns with the mission of Students on Ice and for selecting students from our school to take part in this incredible, once in a lifetime learning experience as they represent Staten Island.

Simit and Aleksandra will be departing on December 26th and will be sharing their experiences with us via this blog and the Students on Ice tracking site! The entire CSIHSIS community wishes them an exciting voyage and cannot wait to share in their learning as they experience the Antarctic.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Today our entire freshman class joined in the giving by participating in what is now a CSI High School of International Studies tradition established by our inaugural class; they completed The Giving Project. After weeks of working together with other students from their advisory groups, our freshman students visited elementary schools across Staten Island to read multi-cultural stories to first, second, and third grade students and to teach them a lesson they collaborated to create based on their chosen story. The Giving Project has become a special part of our school's culture and is is the first service learning project our freshman students complete. Upon returning to school students reflected on their roles as group members, their experience at the elementary school, and their learning as well as celebrated their completion of the project.

Read what our students have to say as they reflect on their experiences with the project. Learn about their accomplishments during this service learning activity, what they liked about The Giving Porject, what they learned about themselves as they completed the project and more!!

Congratulations to all our freshman on this reaching this freshman milestone!!!!


On Thursday, December 10, 2009, thanks to Charlie LaGanga, a new friend to CSIHSIS, senior Susan Yacca, juniors Teddy Thompson and Talon Turner, Global Finance teacher Lilliana Vendra, and I had an incredible learning experience visiting the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. There we spoke with the governors of the Exchange, spoke with traders and specialists, learned about their jobs and their training, and were able to ask questions about the Stock Market and careers associated with it.

We also learned the Charlie LaGanga is an extraordinary person who brings people together and believes strongly in giving back to the community, especially when the community is the young people who are our future. Mr. LaGanga spoke one on one with our students explaining that he came from modest beginnings and was fortunate in his life. He built a 38-year career at Drexel Burnham Lambert before becoming one of five partners to start Direct Access Partners, a Manhattan trading firm. To express his thanks for his good fortune, Charlie helps others and encourages young people to do the same.

For his endeavors, in business and in charity, Charlie LaGanga has been recognized as an Ellis Island Medal of Honor winner and was also nominated for the New York Post's Lifetime Achievement Liberty Award.

We are thankful to Mr. LaGanga for providing us with this opportunity and look forward to continuing to develop our relationship and to having him as a guest at our school. Thanks for giving of yourself to our students and our school! We all had a wonderful day, were inspired by you, and learned a lot!


Visit the Jerome Parker Campus Library website:

Find links that can help you with class projects, homework, and studying. Check our online catalogue.
If you are intersted in helping or donating to our library, please contact our school. You can hlep by donating a book, a magazine subscription, a newspaper subscription, printer paper, or by sending a check to the school so that we can purchase much needed supplies including a book truck, a paperback book rack, a label maker, etc. We appreciate any and all donations!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


After four months of solid, hard work I am proud to say that our award winning school newspaper, The International Insider, has its own website with all the stories you read in the paper plus more! Visit to get the latest in news and weather as well as to listen to pod casts, participate in polls, and to read more on stories featured in the paper! This is an interactive site that asks for your feedback! Please let us know what you think about the site as well as providing feedback on the articles and other stories.

Many thanks to the all The Insider staff and their faculty adviser, Nancy Kaplan, for making this happen! Special thanks to junior, Sean Fisher who worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality! We know this is yet another step forward in the evolution of our paper and another first for our school!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Freshman Class Participates in "Addiction and Pride"

Thanks to the generosity of Rick Mueller and Pride Not Prejudice, today our freshman class learned about alcohol and drug use and addiction, domestic violence, teen suicide, and parental abuse. Using the art of theatre to address these issues that affect teenagers, our students were able to learn and engage in frank conversations.

Addiction and Pride

Part One: The Alcoholic
A one man, one act play: how alcohol destroys a life. The presenter chronicles his life with many characters, including himself, at different ages, using different voices and costumes. It clearly shows the insidious effects of alcohol and drugs in high school. Our students were captured by the humor and intensity of this saga, while seeing truly the effects of alcohol.

Part Two: A Wild Night

Through drama students learned how alcohol and drugs create monsters that show their fangs at will. With prom approaching, the effects of drug abuse and alcoholism impact the lives of eight students, each in a different way. An unemployed father brutalizes his valedictorian son, who protects him to the bitter end. A drug dealer abuses his spaced out girlfriend and victimizes another student. Two alcohol related suicide attempts relay the “true power of drugs and alcohol.” In an attempt to humiliate the school gossip, Lorelei, four students head to the prom but . . . (you have to ask someone who saw the show what happens!!!!)

Part Three: Questions and Answers

After the presenter briefly discussed his sober life, during a guided workshop, students asked questions of the characters as well as specific questions about the topics broached, which included drugs and alcohol, teen suicide, domestic violence, parental abuse and just curiosity about the subject matter.

Please share your feedback, somethings you learned, and some advice you would like to give to your peers!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CSIHSIS Heads to Memphis!

Today, thanks to the IMPACT BROADWAY ( grant that we are fortunate to be a part of, 36 students experienced the musical Memphis, met with the cast for a question and answer session, and dined at Planet Hollywood along with students from other high schools representing their boroughs.

Memphis is musical about the birth of rock & roll in the turbulent 1950s. The show features music and lyrics by David Bryan, a founding member of the rock band Bon Jovi,. Featuring an original score that mixes gospel, rhythm & blues, and early rock ‘n’ roll stylings with a contemporary sensibility, Memphis follows the fictionalized life story of Huey Calhoon, a young, white radio disc jockey growing up in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950’s. Fueled by the music he hears in the black bars on Beale Street, Huey’s on-air antics and unstoppable enthusiasm for “race records” creates a new white audience for African-American music. Then he falls in love with a beautiful black singer, and his personal life transcends the race line, too, with grave consequences.

Memphis received rave reviews from our students and the teacher and parent chaperons, who totally enjoyed the fabulous singing, the lyrics and music, the dancing, and the great story line as they learned a little about the history of music in our country as well as about race relations, the dangers of prejudice and racism, and, more importantly about acceptance! Read on to hear what we have to share about our experience, to see what we learned about this time in history, and to learn about how experiencing Broadway has impacted us!